Category : Pets
The bond we have with our dogs is a very special thing, full of unfaltering loyalty and care. After a hard day’s work, these faithful friends greet us at the door with excitement and affection, bringing playfulness to dull days and laughter to our families. We adopt dogs for a plethora of reasons, from pleasing our children with a furry new member of the family to the simple want for a happy face to return home to, but the benefits of having a pet dog might actually extend our health and wellbeing far more than initially thought.
Dogs and our Wellbeing
There are some very obvious and well-known health benefits to dogs. They encourage us to exercise and get fresh air by taking them for long walks, and petting them can lower our blood pressure and have the positive effect of decreasing stress levels. For those of us who live alone or are older citizens, dogs can be a great way to beat loneliness and lead fuller lives. However, a study in Sweden, reported on by BBC News, suggests that they can offer much more than this. In a study of 3.4 million Swedes, it was concluded that owning a dog can help prevent cardiovascular diseases by 33% and lower the chances of a heart attack specifically by 11%. The reason for this is that owning a dog means we have more social contact; it can also expose us to different microscopic bacteria that changes the microbes in our gut which, it is believed, can be preventative of various diseases.
There have even been some cases of super dogs. In 2014, The Telegraph reported that a dog named Daisy had located a cancerous cyst on her owner’s breast. The dog pinpointed the lump with her nose and kept nudging the owner, Dr Claire Guest, until she got it checked. This saved Claire’s life, and now she works to train Medical Detection Dogs to help others.
How can we benefit our dog’s health in return?
Whilst, of course, most of our dogs won’t be the medical miracle Daisy was, having a dog benefits us greatly in terms of both our physical and mental health. For us to reap the health benefits a dog offers us, it stands to reason we take care of them as well.
A great way of making sure your animal stays healthy is to take advice from other dog owners and professionals. By talking to other owners when out for a walk, or visiting sites such as pawcastle, you can access a huge amount of advice of how to keep your pet in tip-top condition with everything for dietary advice to product reviews of dog houses and toys.
Dogs truly are our best friends and because they take care of us, we need to make sure they are happy and well cared for in return. After all, a healthy dog is a healthy you.